Category Lettings Agents

The Role of a Property Inventory Clerk in the Rental Process

As the demand for rental properties continues to grow, so does the importance of ensuring that both landlords and tenants are protected throughout the rental process. One key element of this process is the property inventory, which is a detailed record of the condition and contents of a rental property at the start and end of a tenancy. A property inventory clerk plays a crucial role in creating and maintaining these records, providing a valuable service to both landlords and tenants.

Creating an Accurate Property Inventory

At the beginning of a tenancy, a property inventory clerk will visit the rental property and carefully document the condition of every room and its contents. This includes taking photographs, making notes on any damage or wear and tear, and recording the make and model of appliances and fixtures. The clerk will also take meter readings and note down any keys that are provided. All of this information is then compiled into a detailed inventory report, which is signed by both the tenant and landlord to confirm its accuracy.

Protecting Landlords and Tenants

By creating an accurate property inventory, the clerk is helping to protect both the landlord and the tenant. For landlords, a detailed inventory report can be used as evidence of any damage caused by the tenant, which can be used to deduct repair costs from the tenant’s deposit. For tenants, an inventory report can be used to dispute any claims made by the landlord for damage that was not caused by them.

Maintaining the Inventory Throughout the Tenancy

The property inventory clerk’s role doesn’t end once the inventory report has been created. Throughout the tenancy, the clerk may be called upon to make amendments to the inventory if there are any changes to the property or its contents. For example, if a tenant brings in additional furniture, this will need to be added to the inventory. Similarly, if there is any damage to the property during the tenancy, the clerk may be called upon to update the inventory accordingly.


In conclusion, the role of a property inventory clerk is essential in the rental process, providing a valuable service to both landlords and tenants. At Looksy Inventories, we understand the importance of creating accurate and detailed inventory reports, and our team of experienced clerks is committed to providing a high-quality service to all of our clients. If you’re a landlord or letting agent looking for a reliable and professional property inventory service, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

What Is A Property Check-In?

While the meaning of a property inventory report is generally well understood, a property check-in is often misunderstood. A typical mistake made by landlords is to refer to the inventory as a “check-in inventory” or “moving-in inventory,” neither of which really describes what happens.

An inventory is a detailed record of all the possessions at a given location, along with notes on their current state. It should include a general description of the property and a list of its contents, including specifics regarding the state of the various walls, ceilings, floors, paint, carpeting, curtains, furniture, appliances, and fixtures like cabinets, windows, and doors.

The locations of all meters, stopcocks, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as the results of their most recent tests, should be noted in the inventory as well.

So What Is A Check-In Report?

The property check-in is when the inventory and keys are given to the new tenant, and they go through a process to make sure that they know the basics about their new home and its condition.

At this point, the renter can look over the inventory and make notes about anything that was left out or was listed wrong. New photos can be added to the inventory to back up the tenant’s comments, a new meter reading, or an item that wasn’t on the inventory.

How To Carry Out A Property Check-In

Although a landlord or letting agent can carry out a property check-in, it’s better for an unbiased third party, such as the experts at Looksy Inventories, to do it to ensure there are no issues and that it is done exactly right.

We use the most up-to-date devices and apps in this field so that everything can be done on-site and all tenant comments are clear and easy to read. Our reports don’t need to be printed. When we meet the tenant at the check-in, we give them the inventory list on a tablet. They can go through the whole list while at the property, typing in their comments and taking new photos on the tablet. After the inventory check, they sign on the tablet, and the keys are given to them.

This is done to make sure that there is only one version of the inventory. Once the tenant signs, everyone will get a copy of the report with the new comments and photos, so there is nothing else to do.

Every letting agent has their own way of doing things, and that includes the property check-in. We are flexible enough to adapt to their ways. For example, for some of our clients at the property check-in we only do a quick walk through the property, check the alarms, show the tenants where the meters are, hand over the keys, and get their signature. We then give the tenants a week to check the inventory on their own time and type in their comments online using their phone, tablet, or computer.

In conclusion, we offer a flexible and highly professional property inventory service that saves time and money for everyone involved while providing consistent and accurate property inventory reporting at an affordable price.

Contact us today to find out more.

How You Can Become An Excellent Property Manager

The job of a property manager is to keep an eye on rental properties and make sure they are being run as well as possible. The job of property manager is fun and pays well, but it’s not a walk in the park. There is a lot to keep track of, and even small mistakes could cost money, make tenants unhappy, or even lead to a lawsuit. Still, you can be great at your job if you follow a few tips and tricks. Here are some tips on how to be a great property manager.

Carry Out Routine Inspections

When bad tenants move out, they often leave a lot of damage behind, which can cost you money, time, and your reputation. So, you should check on your properties often to find and fix small problems before they get worse. This will save you money and time in the long run. Your tenants will likely be happier if you pay attention to them and respond quickly to their needs. Also, maintenance problems will come up from time to time. So, you’ll have to keep up with things like refurbishments, roof leaks, and appliance repairs.

Some property managers outsource these interim or mid-term inspections to an inventory clerk like Looksy Inventories. This can be a cost-effective and time-saving way to get the job done well.

Be Organised

As a property manager, you need to be very organised because you have to deal with a lot. So, if you want to do well in your role, you should work on your organisational skills. Technology can help you with many parts of your job, such as finding good tenants, keeping records, collecting rent, and staying on top of repairs. So, invest in technology to make your business more efficient and give you an edge in the property industry. There are many things to think about, but it would be best to avoid legacy software, even if it is easy to use and familiar. Instead, choose modern software alternatives that can be linked together to make work more efficient.

Build Relationships As A Property Manager

Many experts agree that if you want to be successful as a property manager, you should get along well with the people who live there. Relationships are the foundation of the property management business, so good communication is a must. You should spend time with your residents whenever you can to get to know them better. Effective communication will keep you from having a lot of misunderstandings and losing clients. It will also help you keep tenants for a long time and have fewer vacancies. But keep in mind that business is business, so be polite and professional in all your interactions. So, you can be a fair and good manager who can make the right decisions based on what’s best for your client.

Why Is An Inventory Important?

A property inventory is a very important document to have, whether you are a tenant looking to move into a rented place or a landlord who wants to protect his or her investment. Even though most landlords know how important they are, many tenants don’t care about them. This is a mistake that could cost you in the long run; there are many reasons why an inventory is important.

inventory important

Who Conducts The Property Inventory?

A landlord, a letting agency, or an independent inventory clerk can all create an inventory. To be sure you’re working with a reliable company, look for an independent inventory company that has plenty of experience – just like Looksy Inventories. 

Both parties must sign the inventory report to certify that they agree with its contents, which is normally completed on the day of move-in. If the contents of the property are valuable, the report’s level of detail will reflect that. Photographic proof and written record are both acceptable.

Landlords should be mindful that if there is a disagreement, doing their own inventory might generate complications. The TDS would always prefer expert inventories over those done by the property owner.

Why Is An Inventory Important?

By taking an inventory, both parties can get a good idea of how the property is in its current state.

The property inventory will point out any areas that need to be fixed and say who is in charge of fixing them.

Having the document on hand will help tenants know exactly how to return the property to the landlord and give them an idea of how to take care of the home.

Inventory reports make it easy to tell the difference between damage and normal wear and tear.

Property inventories help both the landlord and the tenant protect their money.

When the tenancy is over, there are less likely to be problems if the inventory is done well.

But if there is a disagreement, having an inventory will help make sure the right decision is made.

Contact Looksy Inventories to find out more.

How To Hire An Inventory Clerk

It’s possible that when your tenants move out, you’ll be faced with a long list of repairs and replacements. Even if all it takes is a fresh coat of paint or a few screws to secure some wobbly shelves, preparing the home for the next set of tenants may necessitate investing more time and money on your side. This can include the need to hire an inventory clerk.

Inventory and check-out reports, such as those generated by Looksy Inventories, are essential if your tenants are causing damage or loss to your property and leaving it unsuitable to rent. In order to avoid paying out of pocket, you may use the proof in these documents to legally keep some or all of your tenant’s deposit.

There are a lot of landlords out there who don’t know where to start when it comes to finding how to hire an inventory clerk and a company to handle their property management needs. Read on to find out more.

hire an inventory clerk
Photo by Ekrulila from Pexels

What Does An Inventory Clerk Do?

Before a home can be rented out, you need to hire an inventory clerk to meticulously document the property’s condition and contents. Whether they are individuals or part of a larger property management company, they provide services to clients.

When a renter moves into a property, an inventory clerk will document the current state of each fixture and meter reading. Afterwards, they will return to inspect the property towards the conclusion of the tenancy period. You might also want to hire an inventory clerk to carry out interim or mid-term inspections.

For the most part, the condition of the rental property when the tenant vacates determines whether or not they get their whole deposit back. When a tenant’s tenancy ends, the inventory clerk and the property management team will serve as unbiased witnesses to any changes within the property.

What Do Inventory Clerks Record?

An inventory report serves as documentation of the property’s condition at the beginning of the tenancy. In addition to the furnishings in the house, this covers everything from the state of the appliances to the condition of the windows, doors and locks to the ceiling and walls to the flooring and blinds.

As soon as a tenant moves into a property, an inventory should be agreed upon and updated, if required, by all parties involved. In order to establish that a property has been damaged and should be repaired from the tenancy deposit, an agreed-upon report will be necessary.

How To Hire An Inventory Clerk

Inventories are used on a daily basis by landlords and letting agencies. A new inventory report is needed for each new tenancy, and this report is often created by an inventory clerk. This person might either be employed by the rental firm or recruited on an independent contractor basis.

Inventory clerks can be found by contacting a lettings agency and asking about their methods, or by performing your own search. Search for inventory clerks in Kent or Sevenoaks or Bromley or Folkestone, and you’ll find Looksy Inventories – as well as in many other places in between. Get in touch today if you need to hire an inventory clerk; we can help you.

3 Useful Social Media Tips For Letting Agents

These days, every sort of professional — including letting agents – is active on social media. So, whether you’re new to social media or searching for methods to improve your online presence, you’d be wise to put in some extra work in this particular arena. 

In addition to setting profiles on the web’s most popular social networks, you’ll need to produce fresh material on a regular basis to keep your audience interested. While this may appear overwhelming to social media beginners, maintaining a significant social media presence does not have to be an endurance test. The following suggestions can help letting agents who want to use social media to their advantage.

social media
Photo by Tracy Le Blanc from Pexels

Provide Links To Your Website 

Social media networks may be an excellent way to promote your own website. Prospective customers will have a clear idea of your company procedures and professional ethics, as well as the sorts of properties you usually work with and your approach to the lettings industry, by visiting your website. You could also include links to pieces you’ve written for well-known property websites or magazines for the most outstanding results. So, if you have any blog entries or instructive articles that you are really proud of, don’t be shy about sharing them.

Use Keywords 

When creating content, make a point of using keywords that your target audience is likely to look for. For example, if you want people to see a certain listing, consider putting in phrases that people are likely to search for, such as ‘two-bedroom house in Sevenoaks‘ or ‘flat close to Edenbridge station‘ might get your posts seen by those who aren’t part of your standard following base. Because the search capabilities on social platforms work similarly to traditional search engines, keyword integration might be beneficial to your social media exposure efforts.

Interact With People 

The ability to quickly engage with companies and the public is one of the handiest elements of social media. This, of course, also applies to letting agents. The more responsive you are when it comes to people’s comments and questions, the more friendly you look – and the more approachable you appear, the more likely it is that clients will use you the next time they need to find a home or a renter.

It is critical to be careful of your tone and word choices while communicating with individuals on social media. When you are not engaging someone face-to-face, it is extremely easy to come across as abrupt or nasty, and you should keep this in mind whenever you react to a remark or inquiry on social media. Additionally, try not to keep them waiting for too long for a response. No one likes being kept waiting, and the longer you take to reply, the less prospective consumers will believe that their requirements are important. So, if a question is asked within normal business hours, try to answer as soon as feasible.

Is Legionella A Problem In Empty Rental Properties?

Empty rental properties can be a problem for a wide range of reasons; when they are sitting dormant, the landlord isn’t receiving an income for one thing, but there are other issues to consider. One is mould and damp, another is pests such as rats and mice, and of course, there is always the risk of break-ins, vandalism, and – in rare cases – squatters

Yet something a landlord might not have considered when it comes to their empty rental properties is the challenge of legionella. This serious health hazard is undetectable to the naked eye; you can’t smell it, you won’t notice it at all until it causes a tenant or visitor to become unwell, potentially fatally so. 

empty rental properties

What Is Legionella? 

Legionella is a type of bacteria that, when inhaled, can lead to legionnaires’ disease, a lung condition similar to pneumonia. Legionnaires’ disease affects the respiratory system, and, as we’ve mentioned, it can be a fatal illness, especially since it is often confused for flu at first, and medical help is not received quickly. 

Most legionella outbreaks don’t occur in empty rental properties or occupied ones, come to that. They occur in poorly maintained cooling towers, cold water storage tanks, showers, hot water calorifiers, etc. This is because the water within these storage vessels often sits for some time at the right temperature (between 20 and 50 degrees C) for legionella bacteria to proliferate. 

However, if your empty rental property has a cold water storage tank, that too can become a place for legionella bacteria to thrive. When a tenant moves in and turns on a tap or shower or uses the garden hose, if they inhale any droplets of water containing legionella, they could become unwell. 

As an important matter of note, drinking water that contains legionella is not harmful; legionella must enter the lungs to cause any health issues. 

empty rental properties

How To Control Legionella In Empty Rental Properties 

Temperature is the first defence against legionella bacteria. If you have a cold water storage tank, the water within it must be kept at lower than 20 degrees C if possible. If hot water is stored in a calorifier or Megaflow or similar, it must be stored at over 50 degrees C. 

On top of this, legionella bacteria grows when it can live on stagnant water, rust, and other debris. When the house is occupied, assuming the cold water storage tank is the right size for the property, then the water within the tank will be turned over every few days, meaning there is no chance for it to stagnate. If you have empty rental properties, it’s a good idea to run the taps once a week or so to empty the tank and reduce the risk of legionella growing. 

On the subject of rust and debris, the tank must be in good condition. If it is old and degraded, legionella is much more likely to occur. If there is no lid, or the lid is ill-fitting, it is much more likely to occur. As a conscientious landlord, if the tank in your empty rental property needs to be replaced, now is the time to do it before any vulnerable tenants move in

Showerheads are another cause for concern. Since legionella bacteria must be inhaled for it to cause damage to the lungs, and since showerheads produce a spray that someone can easily inhale, they need to be cleaned regularly. As ever, when the property is occupied, this is not an issue – the tenants will clean the showerhead or at least use the shower enough for it not to harbour any stagnant water. When you have empty rental properties, this is not the case. Before a tenant moves in, flush the showerhead through and clean it with a strong solution to ensure it is entirely descaled. 

Risk Assessment 

A legionella risk assessment is mandatory when you are renting out your property. You can do this yourself, although if you’re unsure about whether or not your empty rental property is at risk of legionella bacteria and potentially causing harm to the tenant or a tenant’s visitor, it’s a good idea to get a risk assessment carried out by an expert. Looksy Inventories can do this for you, so contact us today to find out more. 

The Check Out Process: What Is A Pre-Check Out and Do You Need One?

If the current tenant’s agreement is about to end and they are going to move out of your rental property, it’s a good idea to give them some useful information about what’s going to happen during the check out process. After all, this will save both you and them from worrying, make things much smoother, and it will help you to decide whether or not to hire a professional for the pre-check out.

check out process

What Is The Check Out Process?

The check out process is a simple one, but not something that all landlords are happy to conduct themselves. Lettings agents are busy and can’t always be on hand to conduct the process either, and this is where inventory professionals will come into their own; the check out (and pre-check out) is all part of the service.

The check out process technically begins with the notice to leave, which will either come from the tenant or the landlord, depending on the situation. At this time, the pre-check out service can be implemented.

Next, the tenants will need to return the property to its original condition. Remember, a landlord should never expert any betterment (although it is sometimes the case that this has happened – a great bonus) but they should receive their property back in at least the condition they let it in. Again, another reason to have a full inventory report carried out; that original condition will be clearly stated and matched against what the property looks like when the tenants leave.

On the day the tenants move out, the check out itself should take place, and a check out report completed for the landlord. The tenant will also be able to see the report and will be able to either accept it or challenge it. The deposit return can be negotiated and then released.

The Pre-Check Out Process

We’ve mentioned the pre-check out process a number of times now, and although it’s not something that every landlord requests, and it’s not something that every tenant is going to demand, it can be useful in terms of ensuring everyone is aware of their duties at the end of a tenancy. Plus it gives the tenants the time needed to put the property back the way it is meant to be, if that is something that needs to be done.

The pre-check out visit is conducted by an inventory clerk who can look at each room and make a report as to whether any action needs to be taken. The original inventory is crucial at this time, otherwise the clerk is not going to know what the property was like initially, and won’t be able to say one way or another whether anything has or hasn’t been changed.

check out process

What Are The Benefits for Tenants?

The tenant will absolutely benefit from a pre-check out. They will be given all the information they need, written down and explained, regarding the tasks they need to carry out before the day they move out. In other words, they will be told exactly what they need to do in order to have their deposit returned to them with no quibbles.

The tenants do have a number of responsibilities when they come to check out. These will depend in part on what is written in the tenancy agreement, but usually include:

  • Cutting the grass
  • Disposing of rubbish
  • Conducting a thorough clean
  • Defrosting the freezer
  • Removing all personal items
  • Repair any damage (over and above normal wear and tear)
  • Replace any items that were removed during the tenancy

Knowing this information in advance will make it more likely that the work is done.

Benefits for Landlords and Letting Agents

The pre-check out isn’t just useful to give tenants the heads up on what they need to accomplish before the day they move out; it’s also useful for landlords and letting agents. It makes the check out process a much quicker, smoother one. It also means there is going to be less maintenance required before the next tenant moves in, saving time and money and keeping the new tenant happy because there are no delays. Plus it helps to keep communication channels open between all parties, with the inventory clerk as the mediator/facilitator.

What Next?

If you need an inventory report, check in, check out (or pre-check out) or interim report, please get in touch with us at Looksy Inventories. A friendly, family run business with a positive, professional attitude, we can make sure everyone in the process is happy.

Coronavirus and the Letting Agent: What Happens Now?

It has been a long few weeks, but now, with the news that letting agents are able to show prospective tenants around properties once more (ever since 13th May 2020), it seems that the floodgates are opening and landlords who were unable to rent their properties out during the initial stage of the UK’s coronavirus lockdown are keen to get the process started and the rent coming in.

lockdown coronavirus inventory clerk

Yet care does need to be taken. Rushing at this point and not paying attention to the safety aspect of letting a property could do more harm than good. Yes, the economy will bounce back more quickly when the housing market starts to move again, but if attention is paid then lockdown could become more restrictive once more and all that hard work and patience will have been for nothing.

There is updated guidance on moving home, for example. In that document, it states that “the process of finding and moving into a new home will need to be different, given those involved in the process will have to adapt practices and procedures to ensure that the risk of spread of coronavirus is reduced as far as possible. This will include doing more of the process online, such as virtual initial viewings; vacating your current property whilst other people are shown around; and ensuring your property is thoroughly cleaned before someone else moves in.”

But what about property inventories? Letting agents still need to engage an inventory clerk for the work to be carried out, and since one of the most important skills that an inventory clerk can have is to be observant and to look closely at each room in a property, this is not something that can really be done remotely. At least not in a satisfactory, high quality way.

The good news is that inventory clerks are masters at social distancing, and have been even before the coronavirus pandemic. With or without the threat of COVID-19, as an inventory clerk there is no need for others to be in the property at the same time as you; in fact, it’s far better when they aren’t there as the job can be done more speedily and efficiently.

covid-19 for inventory clerks

Ideally the property should be empty of not only people but of things too… so since there are no possessions within the house or flat, there is nothing for an inventory clerk to touch which someone else can pick up later, and this will also reduce the risk. Although, of course, an inventory clerk will need to open doors, windows, look in drawers, and more, as long as we wear gloves and use hand sanitiser, there really is very little risk. Plus, the house is likely to have been thoroughly cleaned before our arrival – thank you, wonderful end of tenancy cleaners – thus making the job an even safer one for everyone involved.

As for us here at Looksy Inventories, we are more than ready to get back into carrying out thorough, high quality inventory work during the second stage of the UK’s coronavirus lockdown period. With our gloves and masks and hand sanitiser at the ready, we can collect keys and drop them back off whilst still adhering to social distancing measures. Just get in touch with us today to find out more about how we can guarantee to keep within current guidelines and get the job done – and done well.

A Good Letting Agent: How Can You Find One? What Do They Do?

If a landlord wants to let their property quickly, if they want someone else to deal with the referencing and credit checking, if they want to find good quality tenants, then many will turn to a letting agent for help. But just as in any industry, there are good letting agents and bad ones. There are ones you would be happy to use and others you should stay away from. With something as important as the future tenant (and rent) for your property, it’s important to make sure you pick the best letting agent for you assuming you are heading down this path and not choosing to do everything yourself. Here are some tips on how to find a good letting agent.

a good letting agent


Location matters a lot more than many people think. If you want to let your property more quickly, you’ll need an agent who is able to conduct viewings (after all, this is part of the service you’re paying for), and for that to happen they need to be local to the property itself. If they are further afield, trying to tie up a mutually convenient time with a prospective tenant can be tricky.

But as well as that, an agent who knows the local area will be able to talk about more than just the property itself – they will be able to talk about the good schools, the local shops, the best bus routes, the distance to the station, the pubs, the restaurants, the people… They will be able to answer any questions the viewer has, instilling them with confidence and usually letting the property in a timely manner.

good letting agent

What Does A Good Letting Agent Offer?

Many agents offer varying levels of service depending on how much you want to pay. You will have a number of different options including:

  • Tenant find only
  • Tenant find and rent collection
  • Full management

Each of these options has its benefits and downsides, and it’s wise to look into exactly how much you will be expected to pay and what you will get in return before signing up to anything. If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask; a good agent will happily answer them for you.


If the thought of paperwork makes you shudder don’t worry; many people feel the same. Unfortunately, it’s an important part of renting out a property. A good letting agent will be able to handle all the paperwork involved including:

  • Credit checks
  • Referencing potential tenants
  • Checking employment details
  • Ensuring the tenant has the right to reside in the UK
  • Drawing up the tenancy agreement
  • Obtaining safety certificates
  • Arranging for an EPC to be carried out if need be

If you don’t want to carry out this essential work yourself, then you need to be confident that your chosen letting agent will do it, and do it accurately – one small mistake in any of these documents and you might find the tenancy is invalid.

Marketing: The True Sign Of A Good Letting Agent

One of the biggest issues a landlord tends to have is finding a tenant for their property. With limited funds and reach, you may only have a handful of people getting in touch about the property, even if you use something like Facebook marketplace and pay for more people to see the ad.

good letting agent

A letting agent should be able to market your property on all the major property portals like Rightmove, Zoopla, and On The Market. Not only this, but they will be able to include floorplans, excellent photos, a great description, and details about the property that will entice people to want to view it.

Whichever agent you are considering, take a look at their current property ads. Do you think they look good? Are the images high quality? Are there floorplans? Are there spelling errors or other inaccuracies? If so, it shows that little care has been taken over the advert; what does that say about the agent’s way of working?

Money Protection

Picking a good letting agent might be as simple as choosing one that you know will protect your money, and that of your tenant. You need to be sure that any money exchanged is going to remain safe, so make sure that your potential letting agent is part of a client money protection scheme. There should be a separate bank account for ‘ring-fenced’ money – ask to see proof that this exists.

The agent must also comply with the deposit law; if they don’t, it’s you the landlord who will be held liable. Any deposit must be put into a government approved scheme within 30 days of the tenancy starting. Which scheme does the agent use? Do they offer proof of deposit?

Quick Response

If you opt for full management you are essentially leaving all repairs and small decisions to the agent (of course, for anything major they will need your permission, and you can set financial limits that they can’t spend over and above).

good letting agent

An important aspect of this is how quickly the agent responds to tenant issues and maintenance requests. The quicker the better; you need your tenant to be happy in their home or you might run the risk of them leaving and you having to not only have the repairs seen to anyway, but also having to find new tenants for the property.

It’s worth looking at letting agent reviews; who gives a good service to both tenants and landlords? These are the agents you want to contact. They might cost more than others, but it will be money well spent.

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